It’s July and it’s winter.
When I think “July” my mind goes to long, sunny days lazing on the beach. I think of three months of school holidays, eating ice-cream and cool watermelon, evening strolls on the passeggiata and interminable games of calcetto. Yes, I am getting all nostalgic but who doesn’t when thinking about the summers of their youths? Reality check! July in Melbourne is often grey, cold and rainy, it’s more like December but without the Christmas spirit.
I am on the other side of the world, what’s the big deal, of course seasons are upside down too! But after more then twenty years I still find myself wondering what month we are in and feeling a light sense of confusion and of things “not quite right”. I am getting to the stage when I have almost had more winters in July then summers, so how come it still feels so unfamiliar and peculiar? I thing I have to go back to my nostalgic thoughts and reflect on the importance of our childhood memories and perhaps this feeling of confusion is just a way of holding on to those memories.
And this is how I came to accept the strange phenomenon of “Christmas in July”. I first heard of it on a drive to the hills, years ago. I saw a sign that said “book for your Christmas in July dinner”. At the time I laughed and dismissed it is a one off commercial stunt and a very crazy concept. I soon realised that it is not as uncommon as I thought and one year I even got invited by an english friend to a Christmas in July lunch. Evidently I am not the only one who is nostalgic and holds on to memories. As unfamiliar as a cold July is, so is a hot Christmas and I guess we just find ways to make it all fit.
Last night Julia and her friends had a Christmas in July celebration. They had a kris kringle and ate roast chicken (couldn’t quite manage a turkey!) and self saucing chocolate pudding, very festive! They are all Melbourne kids and only a couple of them have experienced a cold Christmas but it was a good excuse to celebrate and spend time with friends, which is what Christmas is all about after all.
Just to keep holding on to those memories I try to escape to Italy whenever I can and have a “proper” July, but since I am here now I better embrace the cold weather, snuggle in front of the heating, enjoy porridge for breakfast and pretend January is just around the corner!